José Luis Malo de Molina: being an economist in a central financial institution | Economy | EUROtoday

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José Luis Malo de Molina (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 73 years outdated) has left us, the distinguished economist who, for 23 years (between 1992 and 2015), was common director of the Research Service of the Bank of Spain. I used to be lucky to work with him for a lot of that interval and to deserve his friendship. In current months, it was overwhelming to see the serenity and rawness with which he spoke concerning the course of his sickness and his dire prognosis. This chilly realism and talent to use logic with out concessions in advanced conditions was a relentless in his private {and professional} life.

From his place as common director on the Bank of Spain, José Luis was the protagonist of a interval of monumental transformation of the Spanish economic system, of which he turned, presumably, its deepest professional. I nonetheless keep in mind the foremost affect that his shows – impeccably structured, detailed and honest – had earlier than the delegations of worldwide organizations that usually visited our nation to judge the Spanish economic system. On one event, an IMF delegation head, after listening to José Luis's good intervention throughout his go to to the financial institution on the primary day of his mission in Spain, exclaimed: “José Luis: you will have already written us the ultimate report of the mission, “I don't really know how we're going to fill the time until we can get back to Washington.”

During his mandate, following the teachings of Ángel Rojo, whom he all the time thought of his trainer, he strove to make sure that the Studies Service mixed depth of study with prudence in its public presentation. The clearest instance is the best way wherein the Bank mirrored in its stories and public appearances the rising imbalances – akin to extra personal debt, the overvaluation of housing, the exterior deficit and the weak productiveness progress – that the economic system Spanish accrued within the first years of our participation within the EMU. In an surroundings of evident common complacency relating to excessive progress and job creation, the financial institution's publications warned of the dangers entailed by these imbalances, though they maintained confidence of their orderly correction because the most probably state of affairs.

This tone within the communication mirrored the obsession of José Luis, who solely not too long ago—already on the final lunch we had—acknowledged me to be considerably extreme, to forestall overly extreme analyzes on the a part of the financial institution from probably—just like the arsonist firefighter—contributing to the materialization of the indicated dangers. These dialectical balances weren’t all the time effectively understood. The newspaper archives and session diaries of the Cortes from the center of the primary decade of the present century illustrate how, in several legislatures, the identical evaluation of the financial institution was used as a reference for criticism of the Government's financial insurance policies by the opposition. as disqualified as alarmist by observers near the Government of the day. It is curious that members of each sectors have agreed years later in criticizing as not very convincing these analyzes that on the time they applauded or questioned as alarmist.

A militant of leftist events in his youth, he deserted any celebration self-discipline throughout his maturity. Although he was typically positioned on the center-left, he all the time maintained his independence in technical debates. In truth, his financial coverage positions have been orthodox: they have been located inside what have been typically described (and criticized from some sectors) as liberal with regard to the regulation of the labor market (of which he was an achieved specialist). and conservative in relation to financial and financial insurance policies.

Personally, he may very well be heat and even endearing at quick distances. In addition, he was a really acquainted particular person, a buddy of his buddies and dependable to his collaborators. It is true that it can’t be stated that he all the time had simple dealings in skilled relationships. He was not a buddy of gratuitous reward and far much less of the adulation of bosses, so widespread in hierarchical organizations. On the opposite, he used his mental acuity to be ruthless together with his dialectical opponents: whether or not these collaborators, colleagues from different departments of the financial institution, and even superiors within the ranks. These parts of his robust persona might have contributed to him by no means being promoted to governor or deputy governor, positions for which he demonstrated ample skilled benefit.

In any case, the economists who met and labored with José Luis, particularly these of us who proceed to be linked to the world of central banks, acquired a priceless asset, which has made us higher and extra able to understanding what society expects of us. we. Fortunately, that legacy will stay indelible in our reminiscences.

Fernando Restoy He is president of the Financial Stability Institute of the Bank for International Settlements and former deputy governor of the Bank of Spain.

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